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Nicephorus the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople

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June 2

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Saint Nicephorus was born in Constantinople about the year 758, of pious parents; his father Theodore endured exile and tribulation for the holy icons during the reign of Constantine Copronymus (741-775). Nicephorus served in the imperial palace as a secretary. Later, he took up the monastic life, and struggled in asceticism not far from the imperial city; he also founded monasteries on the eastern shore of the Bosphorus, among them one dedicated to the Great Martyr Theodore.

After the repose of the holy Patriarch Tarasius, he was ordained Patriarch, on April 12, 806, and in this high office led the Orthodox resistance to the Iconoclasts' war on piety, which was stirred up by Leo the Armenian. Because Nicephorus championed the veneration of the icons, Leo drove Nicephorus from his throne on March 13, 815, exiling him from one place to another, and lastly to the Monastery of Saint Theodore which Nicephorus himself had founded. It was here that, after glorifying God for nine years as Patriarch, and then for thirteen years as an exile, tormented and afflicted, he gave up his blameless soul in 828 at about the age of seventy. See also March 8.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Nicephorus , our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

Since thou hast received today the crown of vict'ry from the Heavens at God's hand, save all them that faithfully now honour thee as a teacher and a faithful hierarch, O Father Nicephorus.